Don't Like the Public Option? How About We Just Call It Something Else?


It's always seemed to me that Democrats won the rhetoric war over the public option early on when they successfully managed to get everyone to refer to it as the "public option" or "public plan." That's not an inaccurate label, but neither is "government-run health insurance," which I somehow suspect wouldn't have played so well.  

For Nancy Pelosi, however, that victory is apparently not enough:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to deflect criticism of the proposal. "It's not really a public option," she said. "It's a consumer option."

This is nearly as good as titling card check legislation the Employee Free Choice Act, and while it's not quite as disingenuous, it's basically meaningless—an attempt to make the policy sound less objectionable that actually does a worse job of describing it. As long as we're renaming policy ideas to make them sound nicer, why not just call it the "The Democratic Plan for Happy Puppies and Rainbows, Plus Free Ice Cream on Tuesdays"?